From Better Homes and Garden Cook Book
Prep: 40 minutes | Cook: 6 to 7 hours | Makes: 5 servings
1/3 C all-purpose flour
1/3 C cooking oil
1/3 C water
12 oz cooked smoked sausage links, quartered and sliced lengthwise
1 1/2 C chopped cooked chicken or 12 oz skinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
2 C sliced okra or one 10-oz package frozen whole okra, partially thawed and cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 C chopped onion (1 large)
1/2 C chopped green sweet pepper
1/2 C chopped celery (1 stalk)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
3 C hot cooked rice
1. For roux, in a medium heavy saucepan stir together flour and oil until smooth. Cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium. Cook and stir constantly about 15 minutes more or until a dark, reddish-brown color is reached; cool.
2. Place water in a 3 1/2 – or 4-quart crockery cooker. Stir in roux. Add sausage, chicken, okra, onion, sweet pepper, celery, garlic, salt, black pepper, and red pepper.
3. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 6 to 7 hours or on high-heat setting 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Skim of fat. Serve over cooked hot rice.
Let’s ignore the 40 minute prep time. It took me about 20 minutes. I had all the veggies precut in freezer bags ready to go. (Remember, I try to prep my meals in advance.) I’m not sure the roux really did much for the gumbo. It definitely didn’t take 20 minutes to cook. I took it off the stove after about 10 minutes when it looked like peanut butter. Of course, oil does not mix well with water so the roux looked like some weird impenetrable gravy blob in the water. I’m not sure it ever mixed with the water fully.
I omitted the okra. Chris and I just aren’t fans. So I replaced the okra with some red bell pepper that I had left over in the freezer.
As for the sausage, I cut some andouille into bite-sized pieces. The chicken was half of a rotisserie chicken that I also had in the freezer. (Rotisserie chickens are cheap, have great flavor, and can usually be split in half for two meals.)
The smell of the gumbo cooking all day was amazing. I couldn’t wait to dive in. I made some minute rice and covered it with a healthy spoonful of gumbo. I took a big bite and was a little disappointed — great smell, little taste.
Next time I’ll be skipping the roux, well sort off. I think I’ll sweat my garlic, onion and celery in a little butter then add a little flour. (Hopefully this way the flour will actually thicken the gumbo.) Additionally, I’ll try some beef stock or at least some beef bouillon mixed in the water. Finally, I’ll add a jalapeno for some bite. I checked out some other recipes online and compared ingredients. Looks like I should add some Worcestershire sauce and a can of stewed tomatoes. I’ll update you when I try gumbo part deux.